Tampa Property Management Tip #13 - Late Fees are a Critical Tool for Landlords to Collect Rent On Time
Most tampa property management owners just have a terrible time being the “bad guy.” If you ever want to be successful in this business, you or someone who works with you must be willing to enforce the rules.
Now, you are going to hear an endless stream of excuses when you try to collect late fees. Do not accept any of them in the first year. If the tenants realize you will believe their sob tales, they will invent ones every month. The mortgage has to be paid whether their child is in the hospital, mother dies, car broke down, or their electric bill was too high.
You tell them that the late fee must be paid because the rent was not paid on time and you or the owner had to come out of pocket to pay the mortgage payment.
Once a tenant has been with me awhile and they have proven to be reliable, I will waive the late fee once or twice a year. It is important to have firm rules but occasionally bend or break them. If you occasionally waive the late fee, make sure you point out to them you are doing them a favor this time, and you will charge a late fee if the rent is late next month.
Tenants are just like children, you have to train them. If you allow the tenants to dictate when the rent or late fee will be paid, you give them power over your property and life. This will lead to 2:00am phone calls to fix their leaky toilet or tenants end up owing you 3 months of past due rent. A Tampa property management company should always be polite and patient, but you must be firm and consistent or you will go broke in this business.